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Maia Sharp kicks off tour, new album

IRONTON — Now that is the way you start a tour off.

Maia Sharp, the multi-instrumental, singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, kicked off her 2009 Fall Tour with an inspired and impressive 16-song set in the Mains Rotunda at Ohio University Southern Wednesday night.

Promoting her fourth solo release “Echo”, Sharp used the acoustic friendly rotunda in showing off why she is on her way to becoming a household name throughout the country soon. The 90 minute performance was sprinkled with just the right amount of musical ingredients to make the more than 100 in attendance wanting even more.

Sharp, who has worked with and been embraced by Bonnie Raitt, Carole King, the Dixie Chicks, Art Garfunkel and Trisha Yearwood, started things off with the guitar-driven tunes of “Death by Perfection” and “Whole Flat World, the first and second tracks off of “Echo.”

She then slowed things down a bit with the rhythmic song “Crimes of the Witness,” which comes from her self-titled debut album.

Following “Angel on my Shoulders” and “Something Wild,” a song Sharp said came to her one day “while wanting to write something wild,” the 35-year old performer and her backing duo played for the first time live “How Could I Have Loved You.”

Sharp was backed by Linda Taylor on electric and acoustic guitar and Dave Carpenter on double bass.

She thanked both at the end of the song saying “you guys did it.”

One of the highlights of the night was when Sharp took a break from the acoustic guitar and sat down at her keyboard to perform “Apology.” The thick, lyrical song allowed her to dazzle the crowd once again with a solo on her Soprano saxophone. “Apology” garnered some of the loudest applauses of the night.

Another can’t miss was Sharp’s solo performance of “John Q Lovely.” Even it was just Sharp on the stage or joined by her backing band, the precision of the tone and quality could have had someone thinking she was joined by an eight piece backing group.

Sharp closed the evening with her “overt” protest song “Polite Society” and “Red Dress.”

Sharp’s Ironton appearance kicks off the east coast leg of her 2009 fall tour that has stops in Nashville, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York City.

She is the daughter of popular country songwriter Randy Sharp who has written songs for Clay Walker, Patty Loveless, and Reba McEntire.